President Spurs Argentina Revolt

BUENOS AIRES?Argentina’s new president pleaded for calm after a nationwide protest over his handling of a deep economic crisis turned violent early Saturday when police clashed with demonstrators downtown.

“We can’t solve all of the country’s problems in three weeks,” President Eduardo Duhalde, who took office Jan. 2, said in a radio address hours after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, injuring at least 13 people.

Beset by swelling protests over a banking freeze and his decision to devalue the peso by more than 30 percent, Duhalde vowed his government would present a new economic program to end four years of recession.

Duhalde made no mention of the restrictions that have locked most Argentines’ savings into bank accounts and left the president with the major challenge of unfreezing deposits without prompting an all-out collapse of the financial system.